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News archive 2016

25 November 2016
Professor Mulcahy awarded SLSA 2016 Annual Prize

Congratulations to Professor Linda Mulcahy  who has won the Socio-Legal Studies Association 2016 Annual Prize. The award acknowledges her contributions to the socio-legal scholarly community: 

"Linda is Professor of Law, Director of the PhD Academy and Director of the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre at the LSE. Her contributions to the socio-legal community have been many and varied over the last 25 years. She has produced ground-breaking interdisciplinary work on dispute resolution, particularly in the area of medical mishaps, and on law and architecture. She was a member of the SLSA Executive Committee for over 12 years, serving as chair of the association from 1999–2002, and two terms as treasurer, from 1991–1993 and 2010–2013. She has also helped to develop the field of socio-legal studies through her role as coordinating editor of Social and Legal Studies for over 10 years and through her tireless support for postgraduate research students, as an examiner of many socio-legal PhD theses, as a co-organiser of the highly successful SLSA postgraduate conference since its inception, and most recently as organiser of an inter-Doctoral Training Centre initiative to bring ESRC-funded PhD students in socio-legal studies together in a Masterclass with experienced scholars in the field. She is truly a leading citizen of the socio-legal community and has played a very important role in helping socio-legal studies become the dynamic and thriving field it is today."

23 November 2016
Wilful neglect of patients: first prosecution under legislation recommended by Horder and Yeung

In 2014, the British Medical Journal of Quality and Safety published an article by Professor Jeremy Horder and Professor Karen Yeung (KCL) entitled 'How can the criminal law support the provision of quality in healthcare?' in which they recommended to the Francis Enquiry that a new offence of ‘wilful neglect or ill-treatment of a patient’ should be created. The government passed legislation in 2015 to put such an offence on the statute book, and the first care workers to be jailed under the legislation for abusing elderly patients have just been named. Click here to read about the court case (ITV News)

21 November 2016
Professor Nicola Lacey on the US criminal justice system

The Ballpark is the LSE US Centre’s media centre encompassing their podcast and a series of video explainers. Professor Nicola Lacey looks at the fragmented nature of the US criminal justice system and how judicial elections and ‘appeals to toughness’ have influenced the incarceration rate at the state level. Click here to watch Nicola's video.

9 November 2016
Student awarded prestigious scholarship

We are delighted to report that Panashe Jinga has been awarded a prestigious Freshfields Stephen Lawrence 2016 Scholarship by the global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The scholarship scheme is a first-in-kind social mobility scheme and seeks to address the disproportionate under-representation of black men in large commercial law firms. It is specifically aimed at first year male students studying law from a black African, black African-Caribbean or mixed-race black African or mixed-race black African-Caribbean background. In addition to financial support, Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholars receive coaching, commercial familiarisation, mentoring and an alternative route to a training contract interview at Freshfields. Many congratulations to Panashe!

1 November 2016
Professor Christine Chinkin wins UN award for distinguished service

Professor Christine Chinkin, Director of LSE’s Centre for Women, Peace and Security, has been awarded the Sir Brian Urquhart Award for distinguished service to the United Nations by a UK citizen. Professor Chinkin, who is also Emerita Professor of International Law at LSE, received the award from the United Nations Association UK (UNA-UK) at the Danish Embassy on 24 October to mark United Nations Day 2016. The UNA-UK said the award was given “as a mark of our admiration for her work – as an academic and as a practitioner – in the fields of human rights; women, peace and security; and international law, justice and accountability. The award would also be a mark of our gratitude for all the support that she has provided to UNA-UK over the years.” Click here to read more from the UNA-UK.

27 October 2016
Helen Reece

It is with the greatest regret and overwhelming sadness that we inform you that Helen Reece, Associate Professor of Family Law, died on Wednesday 26 October 2016.

Helen studied Law (LLB) at University College London and Logic and Scientific Method (MSc) at LSE. She qualified as a barrister in 1992, and lectured in Law at University College London (1993-1998) and Birkbeck College, where she was appointed Lecturer in 1998 and Reader in 2004. She joined LSE Law as an Associate Professor (Reader) in 2009.

At LSE, Helen taught family law and the law of obligations. Her research focused mainly on family law, but it was much broader in range, characterised above all by the aim to uncover and contest the social and political assumptions behind existing legal rules and prevailing opinion. Her work on adoption, parenthood, domestic violence and, more recently, the law of sexual offences identified her as one of the most original thinkers of her generation. Her monograph, Divorcing Responsibly (2003), on the influence of post-liberal notions of choice on the law of divorce, was awarded the Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize in 2004. Helen’s article on ‘Loss of Chances in the Law’, published in the Modern Law Review in 1996, and winner of the Wedderburn Prize in 1997, has been cited with approval by the House of Lords, and been a major point of reference in tort scholarship. With Michael Freeman, she edited several works and collections on the relationship between law and science (Law and Science: Current Legal Issues (1998); Science in Court (1998)). She was a founding member of Institute of Ideas Parents’ Forum, and a member of the editorial boards of Law, Probability and Risk, the International Journal of Law in Context, and the Modern Law Review. She was a regular contributor to radio and television programmes.

This catalogue of achievement does not begin to account for all the qualities that made Helen special to her colleagues in LSE Law, and to her much wider networks of colleagues and friends: her good humour, her keenness to engage with other colleagues’ work, her outstanding record as a teacher and research supervisor, the fearlessness, integrity and sense of duty she brought to all her endeavours. We mourn the passing of a brilliant scholar, and a cherished colleague and friend. Our thoughts and hearts go out to Helen’s partner, John, and their children, Hannah and Ben.

See also, Obituary, Guardian 25/1/17

“Helen was a wonderfully dynamic and forceful character, and a tower of strength in her family and in the Department. The freshness, daring and iconoclasm of her scholarship meant that, of anything she wrote, one could without question say that once read, it would not be forgotten. We will all miss her terribly. In due course we will find an appropriate way to honour her, and details about this will be posted on the website”. 
Professor Jeremy Horder, Head of LSE Law

“I was desperately sad to hear the news that Helen died yesterday. It’s a deep loss for all of us at LSE and a far greater loss for her family. Helen was on the board of the Modern Law Review (MLR), as am I, and in both LSE Law and on the MLR she was a wonderful colleague. She was spirited, engaged, energetic and constantly driving us forward. She was also incredibly supportive, thoughtful and kind. I have her to thank for encouraging me to take on the general editorship of the MLR – she was adamant that it should be a woman for the first time in 74 years! That was typical of her – fiercely principled but personally such a warm and supportive colleague. We will all miss her greatly. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this terrible, terrible time”. 
Professor Julia Black, Interim Director of LSE

If you would like to leave a personal messages of condolence, please visit the LSE Condolences page.

21 October 2016
Professor Christine Chinkin to deliver prestigious Lauterpacht Lectures

Professor Christine Chinkin (pictured), Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security, will deliver the 2016 Lauterpacht Lectures, on the theme of ‘International Law and Women, Peace and Security’. The lectures will be delivered over three evenings, from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 October, and conclude with an open discussion on Friday 28 October. The Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture is an annual three-part lecture series given in Cambridge to commemorate the unique contribution to the development of international law of Sir Hersch Lauterpach. For more information, visit the Lauterpacht website.

19 October 2016
Professor Jeremy Horder contributes to Criminal Finances Bill proposals

The government has published its Criminal Finances Bill which will introduce the concept of ‘unexplained wealth orders’. Under this legislation, government agencies, such as the Serious Fraud Office and HM Revenue & Customs, will be able to apply for an order to seize UK assets from overseas criminals. Professor Jeremy Horder was a member of the Transparency International Taskforce which proposed the new orders in Empowering the UK to recover corrupt assets: Unexplained Wealth Orders and other new approaches to illicit enrichment and asset recovery (Transparency International, 2016). Click here for an article in the GuardianClick here to read Empowering the UK to recover Corrupt Assets.

18 October 2016
New book: The Sale of Misattributed Artworks and Antiques at Auction

Dr Anne Laure Bandle, former PhD student at LSE Law and currently a guest lecturer, has released her new book 'The Sale of Misattributed Artworks and Antiques at Auction' through Edward Elgar Publishing. The publishers write: "The glamour and mystery of the art auction, gathering interested buyers from across the globe, makes it one of the most fascinating marketplaces in existence. ‘Sleepers’, artworks or antiques that have been undervalued and mislabelled due to an expert’s oversight and consequently undersold, appear regularly. This fascinating new book provides the first extensive study of the phenomenon of sleepers through an in-depth analysis of the contractual relationships, liability and remedies that arise in the context of auction sales." Click here for the publisher's site

18 October 2016
Dr Siva Thambisetty to speak at University of Toronto

Dr Siva Thambisetty will be participating at the Fifth Annual University of Toronto Patent Colloquium which brings the Canadian Federal bench together with academics and the patent bar for judicial education and cross pollination of ideas. Siva will discuss recent UK and European cases on hindsight bias in patent law. Click here for full details of the colloquium. She will also visit York University to present recent research on the IP Osgoode Speaker Series.

18 October 2016
Professor Niamh Moloney addresses the London Assembly

London is Europe’s financial centre and a leading global financial centre. SMEs account for the vast majority of private sector business in London, and also make up a substantial proportion of private sector employment. The London Assembly Economy Committee investigated the impact of Brexit on both the financial services sector and SMEs in London. The Committee asked the expert panels what steps the Mayor can take to maximise the opportunities and mitigate the risks of Brexit, with LSE Law's Professor Niamh Moloney giving evidence to the Committee on 11 October 2016. Click here for more details on the inquiry; click here to watch the session (begins at approximately 30 mins from the start).

11 October 2016
Baroness Chakrabarti and Keir Starmer MP in Shadow Cabinet

Baroness Chakrabarti, alumna of LSE Law and current Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE Law, has been appointed shadow attorney general in the latest Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. She is joined by Keir Starmer MP, awarded honorary doctorate from LSE Law in 2013, as shadow Brexit secretary. Click here to read more about the Shadow Cabinet appointments.

11 October 2016
Professor Damian Chalmers on the origins of Freedom of Movement

Professor Damian Chalmers is quoted by the Guardian, explaining the origins of freedom of movement within the European Union: "Damian Chalmers, professor of EU law at the London School of Economics, describes the original provision as an afterthought tacked on to please the Italian government. Of the three biggest founding members, France had got farm subsidies and Germany had abolished tariffs for its industrial goods. The Italian government, grappling with the poor southern part of the country, wanted a payoff, says Chalmers, describing Italian workers who moved north as the "central-eastern Europeans of the 1950s". Cllick here to read the Guardian article in full.

11 October 2016
Professor Lang on Freedom of Movement

In an article entitled Why is Globalisation Under Attack (06/10/16) BBC News discusses why free trade and globalisation seem to be under siege from a broad and loud range of opponents. Professor Andrew Lang is quoted: "Most of the benefits of globalisation have been enjoyed by a relatively small group within each country. The question is not whether there are benefits to globalisation - there clearly are. But the question is about who is enjoying those benefits". Click here to read the BBC News article in full.

06 October 2016
'The Tories are using the army to take a shot at human rights'

Writing in the Guardian, Professor Conor Gearty argues that proposals by the government to exempt the military from human rights prosecutions suggest a wider agenda: repeal of the Human Rights Act. Click here to read the Guardian article in full.

26 September 2016
Dr Yaniv Roznai's PhD thesis cited in Baka v Hungary, ECHR

Dr Yaniv Roznai’s PhD thesis,Unconstitutional constitutional amendments: a study of the nature and limits of constitutional amendment (LSE 2014) was recently cited in a seminal case at the European Court of Human Rights. The case in question, Baka v Hungary, involves very significant legal and constitutional questions relating to the independence of the judiciary, the powers of an international court vis-à-vis the nation state, and the constitutionality of major (and controversial) amendments to the Hungarian constitution. Click here to read the ECHR judgmentClick here to read Dr Roznai's doctoral thesis.

26 September 2016
Pathways to Law to continue at LSE Law

Following a successful bid the LSE Widening Participation Team is delighted to have been selected to deliver the Pathways to Law programme for a further four years. Pathways to Law aims to support bright state school students who are interested in law. LSE will once again join 11 other universities across the country to deliver the Sutton Trust’s flagship legal access programme. Building on the success of the programme which currently supports students in Years 12 and Year 13, the new phase will expand to work with Year 10 and Year 11 students. By reaching students at an earlier age, the programme will introduce students to law as well as providing them with the information, advice and guidance needed to support them in making informed decisions about their future. Students attending LSE’s Pathways to Law programme next year will take part in lectures delivered by LSE Law academics and will visit key legal institutions including the Supreme Court, Inner Temple and the Royal Courts of Justice. They will also have the opportunity to shadow current LSE undergraduate law students, take part in a legal work experience placement, participate in personal statement and student finance sessions and receive advice on academic skills such as critical thinking, essay writing and research, as well as taking part in workshops on networking and personal branding. Click here for more information about Pathways to Law.

22 September 2016
Dr Kleinheisterkamp on CETA and TTIP before the Austrian Parliament

Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp spoke on 14 September as an expert before the Austrian Parliament at a special hearing on the free trade agreements with the United States (TTIP) and Canada (CETA). The hearing started with an exchange of opposing views by the Austrian Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor, and included speeches by the U.S. and the Canadian ambassadors, the chief negotiator for Canada as well as by EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström. Dr. Kleinheisterkamp was the only foreign expert invited to this hearing. Click here for a video showing the basis for the speech. Click here for a transcript of the hearing in German.

12 September 2016
Professor Conor Gearty on why UK’s Human Rights Act should be retained

Professor Conor Gearty has published an article in the Irish Times arguing that a post-Brexit repeal of the Human Rights Act in the UK will pose a threat to the Belfast Agreement, and that the European Convention on Human Rights will be the next target. Click here to read the Irish Times article in full.

12 September 2016
Professor Emily Jackson on women's motivation for freezing eggs

Professor Emily Jackson was recently quoted in the Irish Times article 'Why are women freezing their eggs? To find Mr Right' (08/09/16). Professor Jackson comments on researchers' findings that 'the greatest motivation was because the women said they had not found the right man to father their child.' Click here to read the Irish Times article in full.

9 September 2016
Dr Murkens' evidence to House of Commons Committee on Scotland and EU

Dr Jo Murkens recently gave evidence before the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on Scotland’s future relationship with the EU. Click here to watch Jo Murkens' evidence

Update: Dr Murkens evidence was quoted in an article in the New Statesman 'Hilary Benn urged to hold Brexit select committee hearings in devolved nations' (1 November 2016): "If I can put it bluntly, the EU is what has been keeping the United Kingdom together."  Click here for New Statesman article.

30 August 2016
Professor Conor Gearty on a British Bill of Rights

Professor Conor Gearty recently commented on the prospects for a British Bill of Rights on The World at One on BBC Radio 4 (26/08/16). 

22 August 2016
Research collaboration between the Legal Biography Project at the London School of Economics and National Life Stories

Dvora Liberman shares her experience of research collaboration with the Legal Biography Project at the London School of Economics and National Life Stories at the British Library.

3 August 2016
Symposium on Devika Hovell’s 'Due Process in the United Nations' in AJIL Unbound

AJIL Unbound held a symposium on Devika Hovell’s recent article in the American Journal of International Law, inviting contributions from Alexandra Huneeus, Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Rosa Freedman and Joy Gordon. The article deals with the question of UN accountability, recognizing that repeated failures by the UN to provide due process to those affected by its decision-making has had a detrimental effect on the Organization. The article lays the foundations of a value-based approach to the development of due process principles for the UN context, with a focus on two sites in which the choice of due process framework is both problematic and unresolved: the Security Council sanctions context and the Haiti cholera controversy. As the symposium introduction points out, it is interesting that all symposium essayists seem wary of normative theorizing, preferring to grapple with Hovell’s argument through analysis of case studies. Reflecting the empirical turn in the study of international law, each of these essays explicitly or implicitly questions whether the very endeavor of stepping back to construct a normative theory is as urgent or necessary as Hovell would make it seem. In this way, the Hovell article and three symposium essays, taken together, raise questions not only about UN accountability, but also about the relationship of normative theorizing and empirical study in contemporary international law scholarship. Click here for an introduction to the symposium.

29 July 2016
Report on defamation law reform published by Northern Irish Executive

A report on the reform of defamation law authored by Dr Andrew Scott has been published by the Northern Irish government. The report recommends that most of the provisions of the Defamation Act 2013 should be passed into law by the Northern Ireland Assembly. It also sets out a number of ways in which Northern Irish law might move beyond the recent changes in English law better to balance individual and social interests in reputation and freedom of speech. The report has been welcomed by reform campaigners, and discussed widely in the local media (see, for example, pieces in the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish News, and the BBC). It can be downloaded from the NI Department of Finance website. Dr Andrew Scott is also currently a member of the advisory boards to the Law Commission of Ontario and the Scottish Law Commission projects on defamation.

18 July 2016
Professor Emily Jackson elected Fellow of the British Academy

Congratulations to Professor Emily Jackson who has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy.  Each year, the British Academy elects to its Fellowship up to 42 outstanding UK-based scholars who have achieved academic distinction as reflected in scholarly research activity and publication. Professor Jackson first joined the LSE in 1998. She is a member of the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee, and until 2012, she was Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Since 2014, she has been a Judicial Appointments Commissioner. Her research interests are in the field of medical law and ethics, with particular emphasis upon reproductive issues, end of life decision-making and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry.

30 June 2016
Workshop: International Criminal Justice on/ and Film

LSE Law, LSE Centre for International Studies and LSE Department of International Relations announce a joint workshop, International Criminal Justice on/ and Film, 12-13 September 2016. The workshop's starting point is that film — in the broadest sense of fiction, documentary, media reportage, and audiovisual court transmissions — is key to the scholarship and practice of international criminal justice.  The workshop is a creative effort to analyse and make sense of disparate ways in which film and international criminal justice relate to each other with different logics, such as in aesthetic, truth, political and legal relations. Potential themes or directions of analysis may include, for example: genres of film on international criminal justice; film and histories; functions of films; agendas and ideologies in films on international criminal justice; dominant images versus absent or obscure images; teaching international criminal justice with film; filmmakers and the political economy of filming 'atrocity' and 'justice'. For full details about the workshop, please click here.  

23 June 2016
Dr Andrew Scott joins call for media freedom

Dr Andrew Scott has joined with other experts and academics to urge Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (the Representative), and David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (the Special rapporteur), to address the state of media freedom in the UK, in particular to address attempts to undermine the independence of the BBC, the public service broadcaster, and to ensure the independence of the press in relation to self-regulation. Read more details here.

13 June 2016
Professor Damian Chalmers on EU and Brexit

Professor Damian Chalmers has been busy in the press. In the last two weeks he has appeared on BBC and ITV news, LBC, Radio 5 Five Live and ITV Facebook discussing a variety of controversies that have emerged during the referendum. These have included the likelihood of Turkish accession to the EU, the state of EU food law, the democratic deficit within the European Union and the impact that Brexit might have on UK relations with the rest of the world.

2 June 2016
Professor Conor Gearty honoured by Royal Irish Academy

Professor Conor Gearty has been made a member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). RIA membership is in recognition of Professor Gearty’s distinguished reputation for legal scholarship in the field of civil liberties, human rights and the dilemmas and risks posed for freedom and democracy. Professor Gearty said: “I was bowled over to be offered this award. Although I am Irish I have never worked as an academic in Ireland so the honour means a great deal. And my co-recipients were so distinguished, among them Professor Louise Richardson (Vice Chancellor of Oxford) and Professor Sir Paul Nurse (Noble prize winner), that I felt as humbled as I was proud!” Membership to the Royal Irish Academy has been awarded annually since 1785 and is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Professor Gearty was among 22 outstanding researchers admitted to the Academy, joining the 497 current members in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

2 June 2016
Professor Julia Black wins Regulatory Studies Development Award

Professor Julia Black is the winner of the 2016 Award for Regulatory Studies Development, made by the Standing Group on Regulatory Governance of the European Consortium for Political Research. The award is intended to recognize a senior scholar for his or her achievements in, and contributions to, regulation & governance scholarship and teaching. The Award, which was established in 2014, is awarded every two years. The Steering Committee was unanimous in its decision to give the award to Professor Black: 'Professor Black has addressed and advanced many and perhaps most of the key areas of contemporary concern in regulatory governance scholarship and has shared her learning extensively both with scholarly and practice communities'. Click here to read more about this award.

1 June 2016
Professor Conor Gearty voices concern over Counter-Extremism & Safeguarding Bill

A diverse and unique coalition of civil society groups and leading figures have come together to highlight serious concerns about the government's proposed Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill. The joint statement by multi-faith alliance of 26 organisations and individuals says "we are extremely concerned that the proposed Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill will feed the very commodity that the terrorists thrive on: fear." Among the signatories is Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights, at LSE. The statement can be viewed here.

1 June 2016
New book: Crime, The Mystery of the Common-Sense Concept

Crime is a source of endless fascination and fear. Yet behind the apparent consensus that crime must be fought, there is considerable conflict about what should or should not be treated as criminal, and even the most shocking crimes can inspire divisive debate. This concise book explores the seemingly simple, common-sense concept of crime revealing the huge complexities, ambiguities and tensions that lie beneath it.  Ian Loader, University of Oxford, says: "This book displays in abundance the hallmarks of Robert Reiner’s work: it synthesizes a vast amount of literature and data into a remarkably accessible and compelling narrative, and it is both sociologically dispassionate and morally serious about its subject matter. The result is an accomplished introduction to the concept of crime." Click here for more about this book.

31 May 2016
LSE Law comes third in the Guardian’s University League Table 2017

LSE Law has been ranked third in the Guardian’s University League Table 2017 for Law, after Oxford and Cambridge. The score is based largely on an assessment of student satisfaction and teaching quality, based on the results of the National Student Survey, but also takes into account student/staff ratios and the amount we spend per student. Coming soon after our exceptional performance in the Research Excellence Framework, this is another confirmation of LSE Law’s position among the very top law schools in the UK. For details, see the Guardian report here.

31 May 2016
Law and Photography: Mugshots, Passports and Portraiture: Workshop 1st - 2nd July 2016

A workshop co sponsored by The Birkbeck History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and the Department of Law, LSE. The history of photography and the legal presentation of documentary proof enjoyed a complex relationship from the nineteenth century onwards, which was variously fuelled by pragmatism and suspicion. This workshop aims to examine the ways in which photographic technologies have contributed, both practically and symbolically, to the construction of particular legal, evidential and affective modes of vision. Criminal mugshots, passport photographs and other forms of official and domestic styles of photographing the face will be considered in their historical and geographical contexts and in relation to forms of gendered colonial and post-colonial identity. The workshop will be informal and structured around 30-minute papers, with generous time for discussion amongst the audience. Click here for a programme and full details.

20 May 2016
New book and website by Conor Gearty: On Fantasy Island

Professor Conor Gearty has a new book coming out in late Summer with Oxford University Press: On Fantasy Island. Britain Strasbourg and Human Rights. As a prelude to that he is publishing extracts from the book on http://onfantasyisland.co.uk/  on a weekly basis, starting just a few days ago, on the day of the Queen’s Speech (18 May). The idea is to set out some of the themes and arguments that are dealt with more fully in the book itself and to invite comments. 

18 May 2016
JUSTICE Working Paper on the court and tribunal estate

A report  entitled What is a Court? has been published by a JUSTICE Working Party, including Professor Linda Mulcahy and Dr Meredith Rossner.  The report recommends a fresh, principled and research-driven approach to the configuration of the court and tribunal estate in England and Wales. It calls for a radical rethinking of what our court buildings should look like in order to respond to the demands of modern-day justice, with an emphasis on technology-driven solutions to provide timely and effective access for users. Click here for further details from JUSTICE.

17 May 2016
LSE Law student wins Society for Computers and Law (SCL) Student Essay Prize

Congratulations to Lucie Audibert from the LLB programme who is the winner of the Society for Computers and Law (SCL) Student Essay Prize 2016. Her essay on computer program functionality and copyright addressed one of the optional topics: 'To what extent should the functionality, as opposed to the source code, of computer programs be protected by copyright'. Upon winning the prize, Lucie said "I feel incredibly honoured, and am very grateful to the SCL judges for awarding me this prize. I wish to thank my professor Andrew Murray who has been an important guide in my exploration of IT law. My passion for the field can only grow from here, and I look forward to continue learning about the endless challenges posed by our digital world." We would also like to congratulate runner up Lorraine Chimbga. Lorraine is a UCL student taking LL210 as an intercollegiate course. Full details including a link to the essay are available here.

12 May 2016
Dr Jo Braithwaite co-authors BoE paper on CCP default management

Dr Jo Braithwaite is the co-author (with David Murphy of the Bank of England) of Got to be certain: The legal framework for CCP default management processes (2016) Bank of England Financial Stability Paper 37. The Bank publishes papers on financial stability themes. These are designed to develop new insights into risk management, to promote risk reduction policies, to improve financial crisis management planning or more generally to report on particular aspects of the Bank's systemic financial stability work. In this paper Braithwaite and Murphy evaluate the diverse legal rules governing CCP default management by investigating the extent to which they provide adequate legal certainty. The paper discusses the processes of clearing and collateral posting in detail, establishing the nature of the rights which CCPs rely upon when managing defaulting members. We then consider the relationship between CCP default management processes and insolvency law, as defaulting members are sometimes (but not always) insolvent. This leads to an evaluation of the legal issues arising along a typical default timeline of default declaration; returning to a matched book; and use of the defaulter’s collateral. Click here to read the full abstract and paper.

22 April 2016
Dr Margot Salomon invited to brief the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office

The International Monetary Fund’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has just begun a year-long assessment on the role of the IMF and Social Protection in its main areas of operation. At the request of the IEO, Dr Salomon met with evaluators in Washington DC to detail her findings on the role of the IMF in the European debt and austerity crisis, address the human rights obligations of the IMF and its member states, and offer recommendations in moving the IMF towards respect for socio-economic rights. The IEO was established in 2001 to conduct independent and objective evaluations of Fund policies and activities. It is independent from the Management of the IMF and operates at arm's length from the Board of Executive Directors.

7 April 2016
New book: Principles of Takeover Regulation

Professor David Kershaw's new book Principles of Takeover Regulation has just been published by Oxford University Press: Principles of Takeover Regulation explores the nature and optimality of the regulation of the UK’s market for corporate control through the Takeover Code, which is maintained and enforced by the Takeover Panel. To provide context within which to evaluate UK takeover regulation, the book commences with a consideration of the theory and empirical data on the value effects of the market for corporate control, as well of as its implications for corporate governance, board decision making and stakeholders. It then proceeds to investigate the origins of the UK’s self-regulation of the market for corporate control through the Takeover Code and Panel and explores the drivers of its considerable success. It analyses the key takeover events that created public, political and shareholder consternation in the mid- and late-1950s and the early- and late-1960s, interrogates the multifaceted reactions to these events, and traces how these reactions were translated into regulatory action. Through this analysis the book explores how the City of London’s merchant banking community took control over takeover regulation; fashioning the mode and substance of regulation it its interests, and thereby ensuring its success. The book then proceeds to provide a detailed account of the substantive rules and principles that make up the Code, critically evaluates the standard justifications for these rules and principles, and considers their effects on market activity and the structure and behaviour of UK companies. The book also investigates the nature, effects and optimality of this regulatory system. In particular, it considers whether the mode of regulation and the regulatory identity of the Takeover Panel – as an independent “self-” or “market-controlled-” regulator – distorts and limits the rule making process. In this regard, the book considers whether the substance and mandatory form of several of the Code’s most well-known rules - including the mandatory bid rule, the non-frustration rule, its rules on bid conditionality, and the prohibition on deal protections – are, inter alia, the product of the maintenance and protection of this sui generis approach to takeover regulation. The book argues that it is the mode of regulation that renders the Panel and the Code overly protective of its “keystone rules” - the rules including the non-frustration rule and the mandatory bid rule which demarcate the Code’s regulatory space - and contributes to the effective closure of this regulatory system in relation to contemporary market conditions and events that raise question marks about the suitability of these rules. At times this results in incongruent regulatory responses to these events which deflect political and public attention from doubts about these rules. Given the uncertain policy and principled case for these rules, which the book also explores, the book submits that there is real doubt as to whether the substance and mode of UK takeover regulation is optimal for UK companies and the UK economy. Click here for publisher's site.

23 March 2016
New book: In Search of Criminal Responsibility

Professor Nicola Lacey has published her latest work, In Search of Criminal Responsibiity: Ideas, Interests and Institutions (OUP, 2016). "What makes someone responsible for a crime and therefore liable to punishment under the criminal law? Modern lawyers will quickly and easily point to the criminal law's requirement of concurrent actus reus and mens rea, doctrines of the criminal law which ensure that someone will only be found criminally responsible if they have committed criminal conduct while possessing capacities of understanding, awareness, and self-control at the time of offense. Any notion of criminal responsibility based on the character of the offender, meaning an implication of criminality based on reputation or the assumed disposition of the person, would seem to today's criminal lawyer a relic of the 18th Century. In this volume, Nicola Lacey demonstrates that the practice of character-based patterns of attribution was not laid to rest in 18th Century criminal law, but is alive and well in contemporary English criminal responsibility-attribution."

29 February 2016
LSE Team through to International Rounds of Phillip C. Jessup Mooting Competition

From 12 to 14 February, a team of LSE mooters—Georgia Beatty (LLB, third year), Julia Czaplińska (LLM), Srilekha Jayanthi (LLM), Max Münchmeyer (LLM), and Taylor Steele (LLM)—competed in the UK National Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, winning second place and advancing to the International Rounds next month. Following preliminary rounds against teams from BPP, Leeds, Oxford, and UCL, LSE was ranked seventh among the eight that entered the elimination rounds. However, with strong performances against Cambridge in the quarterfinals, and UCL in the semifinals, the LSE team earned a spot in the final round against KCL. 

After a hard-fought match argued in front of a distinguished panel chaired by Sir Michael Wood, former FCO Legal Advisor, LSE ultimately came away with second place. However, both finalist teams advance to this year's International Rounds, which are held in Washington, DC, at the end of March. In addition, Georgia Beatty was recognized as best individual oralist for her near-perfect performances in the preliminary rounds. The team is very grateful for all of the support they received in preparation for the competition. In particular, the team thanks the faculty members, graduate students, and friends who put them through their paces, and are especially grateful for the invaluable assistance of their coach, Naomi Burke O’Sullivan. 

29 February 2016
Dr Chaloka Beyani on forcible displacement

Dr Chaloka Beyani recently gave a seminar at All Souls College, Oxford, to the Public International Law Group at Oxford University on the subject of 'The Forcible Displacement of Populations: Territoriality and Interlocking regimes in Public International Law'. You can listen to Dr Beyani here.

26 February 2016
Professor Damian Chalmers on Cameron's EU Deal

Professor Damian Chalmers commented on the legal force of the deal between the UK and the other EU Member States agreed last week in the Daily Telegraph and Radio 5 Live. He stated that the deal was largely an interpretation of which the Court of Justice only had to take account. It could depart from it. However, if so, this may be a situation where the Heads of Government legally could and would override it. He was also one of three experts called to give evidence to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee on the legal status of the deal. Click here for the full text of the Telegraph article.

26 February 2016
Professor Jeremy Horder on joint enterprise

Professor Jeremy Horder was recently interviewed on the PM programme on BBC Radio 4, and on the BBC World Service, on recent changes made by the Supreme Court to the law governing joint enterprise. He said that whilst the simplification and narrowing of the scope of liability was welcome, it could generate appeals by those sentenced under the wider old law, who had received harsher punishments for murder introduced by Parliament in 2003.

15 February 2016
New book: Reason and Restitution: A Theory of Unjust Enrichment

Dr Charlie Webb has just released his latest book Reason and Restitution: A Theory of Unjust Enrichment  (Oxford University Press: 2016). In law, gains, like losses, don't always lie where they fall. The circumstances in which the law requires defendants to give up their gains are well documented in the work of unjust enrichment lawyers. The same cannot be said, however, of the reasons for ordering restitution of such gains. It is often suggested that unjust enrichment's existence can be demonstrated without inquiry into these reasons, into the principles of justice it represents and invokes. Yet while we can indeed show that there exists a body of claims dealing with the recovery of mistaken payments and the like without going on to inquire into their rationale, this isn't true of unjust enrichment's existence as a distinct ground of such claims. If unjust enrichment exists as a body of like cases and claims, truly independent of contract and tort, it does so by virtue of the distinct reasons it identifies and to which these claims respond.    Reason and Restitution examines the reasons which support and shape claims in unjust enrichment and how these reasons bear on the law's resolution of these claims. The identity of these reasons matters. For one thing, unjust enrichment's status as a distinct ground of liability depends on the distinctiveness of these reasons. But, more importantly, it matters to those charged with the practical tasks of deciding cases and making laws, for it is these reasons alone which can direct how judges and legislators ought to respond to these claims. Click here for publisher's site.

9 February 2016
LSE Law research shows Polish community exploited in the UK

Although Poles make up the third largest foreign-born community in the UK, new research from LSE Law shows they are being exploited at record levels in their adopted country. In August 2015, thousands of British Poles downed tools and marched on Westminster to vent their frustration at the hands of employers, landlords and clusters of xenophobic individuals. Years of negative attitudes and exploitation culminated in a day-long protest to show their anger at the rise of anti-Polish rhetoric fuelled by the media and echoed across the country. For PhD student Dagmar Myslinska, a Polish-born lawyer raised in the United States, the event was grist for the mill for her thesis, started a year earlier at LSE Law. Using Polish migrants’ experiences as the basis for her PhD studies, she is researching incidents of discrimination against white migrants in the UK, specifically looking at housing and employment issues. Click here to read more about this research.

9 February 2016
Professor Emily Jackson on egg freezing and the Timeless project

In response to growing public interest in egg freezing, a fictional beauty brand called Timeless will ‘pop-up’ in London’s Old Street later this month following expert advice and research from LSE. The store will engage women with the issue of fertility and explore how social egg freezing may impact the world of work, relationships and wider society in the future. Emily Jackson, Professor of Law at LSE, says: “Does egg freezing represent an insurance policy against women’s biological clock, or is it more like buying an expensive lottery ticket? Women (and men) need clear and accessible information not only about egg freezing itself, but also about age-related fertility loss. Effective communication about medical risk is difficult, and the importance of the Timeless project is its use of innovative ways to provide user-friendly information about the risks, benefits and wider implications of egg freezing. " Professor Jackson also recently discussed this issue in the Observer - click here for the full Observer article.

25 January 2016
Dr Micheler on intermediated shareholding model is cited by BIS

Dr Eva Micheler’s research is repeatedly cited in a new BIS paper ‘Exploring the intermediated shareholding model’ ( BIS research paper 261). The BIS paper examines the UK’s intermediated shareholding model in order to gain a better understanding of the existing model and to identify any weaknesses. In her research Dr Micheler shows that the intermediated shareholding model compromises the ability of investors to exercises their rights. It also can significantly reduce the value of the assets. Click here to read the BIS paper Exploring the intermediated shareholding model.

8 January 2016
Research Impact: Respecting, protecting and promoting human rights beyond national borders

Dr Margot Salomon's research expertise in the field of international human rights obligations relating to world poverty, and her close involvement in the drafting process itself gave her a strong voice in shaping the Maastricht Principles. Click here Dr Salomon talking about the research. Click here for the LSE Case Study.

 

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